Fans of this seminal art-goth band will leap at the chance to add this rare and early material to their collections. The first five tracks were recorded in 1984 and released only in a limited run of 500 vinyl copies; the band later essentially suppressed distribution of the EP, and it's easy to see why: "Going Round" is an absolute disaster of a song, with inane tuneless lyrics bolstered by inept synthesizer backing. The same is more or less true of "Strange 9 to 9" and "Call It Weird." But on the more sophisticated "Muscoviet Mosquito" there are signs of better things to come, and "Abysmal Thoughts" actually features a fairly interesting (if repetitive) chord progression. The last six tracks are demos the band made for the 4AD label during the same period, and they already show a marked improvement: someone in the band figured out how to use the drum machine, the songs have more than two chords, and although the singing is still pretty awful it's now farther back in the mix. Recommended primarily to diehard fans and to those who are mainly familiar with the band's later work and are interested in seeing how far they've come in 17 years. Actually, the band photo on the insert pamphlet is almost worth the price of the disc.
AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson